It’s amazing how the more we take a little dip in the creativity pool, the more inspiration pours in. And that inspiration can seep into many areas of life: parenting, career, relationships…I definitely see an increase in ideas when I take the time to practice thinking outside the box.
Today I’m sharing what is basically a game that will set you up with countless writing prompts for daily 15 minute creativity breaks (kind of like the ones I share on the Let ME Out!! Facebook page). Totally suitable for teachers, parents, students, writers, and anybody who wants to play with their imaginations!
This can be put together over a number of days/writing sessions depending on your energy level and available time. If you are doing this with school-age children, I highly recommend doing this in small chunks.
Ok, so let’s create character sketches, settings and phrases as the components of the game.
Grab some paper and answer the following questions to create a character:
1. Is your character male or female?
2. How old is your character?
3. Describe your character physically. Think of details like hair colour/type, shape of eyes, clothing…be as precise as possible. You never know when certain physical characteristics can be dropped into a story to make things interesting and visualize-able!
4. Where was your character born? Do they have an accent?
5. Name at least 3 unique qualities about your character. These can be quirks, idiosyncrasies, a significant event they have gone through that has shaped them in some way. This step is to help you dive a little deeper into your character’s life.
Repeat these 5 steps for at least 5 characters. Each character should be on separate paper.
Now we’re going to come up with 5 different settings on 5 separate pieces of paper, by answering the following questions:
1. What is the name of the city or town? (It can be real or fictitious).
2. What time of year is it?
3. What time of day is it?
4. Name a specific location in the city or town. (eg. DeeDee’s Diner) Add about a paragraph describing this particular location.
Phrases can be things the character (or a secondary character) says, thinks or overhears. Or the phrases can be part of the prose that must be worked in word for word. Come up with at least 5, on separate pieces of paper.
Some examples could be:
1. “Do you have a pen I could borrow?”
2. “What’s there to do around here?”
3. The moonlight created shadows.
4. A loud bang startled her.
5. This wasn’t rocket science.
And now for the really fun part…
Make clear piles separating the character sketches, settings and phrases. (You can put them in freezer bags or brown paper bags or shoe boxes). Randomly choose from each pile until you have a character, a setting and a phrase in front of you.
Set a timer for at least 15 minutes and incorporate the ideas into part of a story. The end result could be just a stretch of the creative muscle, or it could be the beginning of a longer story.
Whenever you have 15 minutes for a creativity break, you can add to either the character sketches, settings or phrases, or you can grab one of each and work them into a few paragraphs.
If you have any questions, or want to comment on this activity, I’d love to hear from you! Contact me privately or leave your thoughts below!